ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - It all started as a lost bet 33 years ago, but has turned into a Christmas Eve tradition for many in Northern Virginia. Santa and his elves spread some holiday cheer at the 33rd annual Waterskiing Santa Christmas show at the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront.
Huge crowds lined the water to see Santa and all of our favorite Christmas characters take the plunge in 44-degree water on Monday. It was some of the coldest temperatures the show has had to contend with in years, but that didn't stop them from putting on another memorable show.
The sun was beaming and people cheered loudly as Waterskiing Santa made his grand entrance while his trusted elves and reindeer were nearby. But it was the Grinch who stole this year's show as many of the children in attendance enjoyed him falling into the water off of his jet ski.
Then there was the parade of boats, which offered up a sweet surprise to one lucky woman in the crowd. Her boyfriend popped the question during the grand finale. And of course she said yes!
"Oh my gosh. I'm still shaking," she said. "My heart kind of stopped for a minute. Yeah, it did. But he's been acting weird kind of all day."
"It's just the perfect event, it's beautiful and I just thought it would be a nice time to ask her," he said.
The chilly temperatures didn't stop Santa and Mrs. Claus from taking pictures with the kids and reminding them to be good tonight.
Organizers say they keep coming back year after year because they enjoy putting smiles on the faces of the kids and families that come see them each year while also keeping the tradition alive.